I was the only black guy in the company: how Silicon Valley and Baltimore could diversify - Technical.ly Baltimore


Nov. 15, 2013 12:15 pm

I was the only black guy in the company: how Silicon Valley and Baltimore could diversify

Tristan Walker is the founder of CODE2040, a nonprofit that places minorities in tech internships. Two UMBC undergrads participated in the program last summer.

Perry Ogwuche, left, and Randi Williams, are the two UMBC undergrads who participated in CODE2040 this past summer. Photo courtesy of Randi Williams.

Tristan Walker has a goal to diversify Silicon Valley by 2040. To do that, the former Foursquare employee established the nonprofit CODE 2040, which places black and Latino computer science undergraduate students in internships with West Coast tech companies.

This past summer, the two student-organizers of hackUMBC, the first hackathon at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, participated in CODE2040’s internship program.

“I was literally the only black guy in the company,” said Perry Ogwuche, a senior computer science major who interned at online home services marketplace Redbeacon.

Read about Tristan Walker and CODE2040 on NPR.

Andrew Zaleski

Andrew Zaleski is a freelance journalist in Philadelphia and the former lead reporter for Technical.ly Baltimore. Before moving to Philadelphia in June 2014, he was a contributing writer to Baltimore City Paper and a Tech Check commentator for WYPR 88.1 FM, Baltimore city’s National Public Radio affiliate. He has written for The Atlantic, Outside, Richmond magazine, Washington City Paper, Baltimore magazine, Baltimore Style magazine, Next City, Grist.org, The Atlantic Cities, and elsewhere.

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